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There’s no comfort during writing process

There’s no comforting a columnist who lacks inspiration on column-writing day.

Just ask my husband.

Better Half tried to be supportive when I sat on the living room couch Thursday evening, but I just whined and offered pained expressions, like a procrastinating student who’s waited until the last minute to start a term paper homework assignment due the next day.

Or like an exhausted toddler who refuses the nap she so desperately needs.

He took action, bless his heart, and made a batch of chocolate chip muffins for my benefit as much as his.

Although I appreciated the distracting gesture, I came away fueled but fruitless.

I told him that I had considered a column on how I’d been pleasure reading a lot more lately, thanks in part to being at home more with less to do — or more truthfully being at home more with less gumption to do more of the things I should be doing at home that need done.

Under such circumstances, why not read a good book. There are plenty of them in my midst, that’s for sure.

I’ve made some random picks from the bookshelves around me, selecting, for example, “To Kill a Mockingbird” since it never hurts to reread a Harper Lee classic, right?

And I read “Where the Crawdads Sing,” knowing it had to be a good read for two reasons. My sister’s book club had read it and raved about it, and I remembered seeing a lady last summer at a pool. She was draped in her beach towel, making her way to the concession stand, engrossed in this book she was reading. She wasn’t paying a bit of attention to her surroundings, just to this book, the title of which was “Where the Crawdads Sing.” I vowed then that I’d read it one of these days, but not poolside.

“How it’s going?” Better Half looked my way, trying to get a read on my progress.

I shook my head and offered a heavy, heavy sigh, the audible equivalent of the written exclamation point.

I’ve told people before that writing a column is like having a baby every week — you conceive an idea, let it gestate and then comes the final push — the writing part. Sometimes there’s a smooth delivery; sometimes it’s hard labor. Epidural, please.

I considered writing about how the government gave me a good laugh in recent weeks when the mail included an economic stimulus check for my mother, dearly departed now for more than two years.

Seriously? Next to her name is “DECD,” translation being deceased, I’m guessing.

And the envelope offered a box to check if the recipient is deceased. “Check here and drop in mailbox.”

Really?

Then came a followup letter a week or so later to my still dearly departed mother, our government hopeful that the funds would help her during these trying times.

“Almost done?” Better Half looked my way, feeling hopeful himself.

I shook my head in the affirmative, ready for some relief.

A chocolate chip muffin to the rescue. Or perhaps another good book.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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